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Article > Defining an exit strategy - When is it time to get out?

Article kindly supplied by

Dave Lawrence
Professional Property Investor

Getting out of reposession investing is as important as getting in. After all, you do not want to get stuck with a portfolio of liabilities. You want to cash out on your investment as fast as possible, which is the reason having an exit strategy is important.

Exit Strategy Defined

Any means by which an investor gets something out of his investment can be considered an exit strategy. Simply put, this kind of strategy involves cashing out and turning a profit, which is why you invested in the first place. An exit strategy should be defined even before the deal is signed.

Common Mistakes

Unfortunately, not many investors think about having an exit strategy. It is a common mistake that many people make in the property investment market. Many of them are under the false assumption that more reposessed properties you own, the better your returns. In fact, you have to look at the larger picture.

For instance, an abundance of reposessed properties may be a sign of far worse problems in the area. Unemployment, lack of adequate infrastructure and other such factors all affect supply. Reposessed properties are a good way of telling that homeowners in the area are unwilling or unable to keep their homes. These may have a positive impact on supply, but the same cannot be said for demand.

When demand is dead, it will be difficult to sell the property on the market. Without demand, there is no way your property will invite interest. In some cases, you will have to wait until the market improves which could take a long time. Will you have enough money to pay your insurance and the mortgage until then? More often than not, the kind of exit strategy you use will depend largely on these factors.

Another mistake that investors make is to rely only on the price differential to make a profit. When this happens, other important factors such as mortgage payments, taxes, maintenance and ongoing costs, among others, are all but neglected. Forget to factor these into the equation and you may end up with less profit or even none at all.

Obviously, avoiding this situation means being well informed. Investors need to be aware of sales and market trends for the specific area. Use this knowledge to form a defined sales strategy – one that would let you rake in as much profit as possible. Specify a point in time that you start selling the property at a discounted price just to avoid excess carrying costs.

Selling at a break-even price is much better than maintaining and keeping a liability in your portfolio.

Final Words

As much as investing in repossession properties is a good idea, investors still need to play the part. Success more likely comes from an informed decision backed by pertinent information. A clear exit strategy needs to be defined even before you start considering whether to put in an offer. Only then can you realistically expect to turn a profit with your investment. It is a great way of preventing financial ruin on your part.


About the Author

Dave has been an active property investor since 1999. His buy to let portfolio contains a mixture of property types and he also invests in buy to flip reposessions.




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